Nigel Farage has warned that Boris Johnson’s decision to allow Chinese tech firm Huawei to assist in the development of the UK’s 5G network “imperils” intelligence sharing and could threaten a future trade deal with the U.S.
Last month, Prime Minister Johnson approved of the Chinese company’s involvement. Mr Johnson has said that safeguards will be put in place, such as restricting Huawei’s input to only 35 per cent of the “periphery” and banning the company from supplying components for the “core” infrastructure.
However, in recent weeks the decision has sparked concerns from within the Conservative Party and other Anglosphere partners of the intelligence-sharing network the Five Eyes, notably Australia and the United States.
Writing in his Newsweek column this week, Mr Farage warned: “The recent decision of the UK government to involve the Chinese technology firm Huawei in the creation of our 5G network imperils not just intelligence sharing but a future trade deal passing in Congress.
“Forming ties with this company is proving to be a monumental mistake at a time when the special relationship should be flourishing.”
Huawei Has ‘Back Door’ Access in Its Networks, Warns United States https://t.co/NwehkRDY9O
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 13, 2020
The Brexit Party leader’s comments came after he shared that there is “growing” and “genuine” concern about Johnson’s decision in Washington, D.C., which could jeopardise the security relationship between the UK and U.S.
Earlier this week, U.S. officials warned allies that Huawei has backdoor access built into its networks which could be exploited by the Chinese Communist Party.
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” President Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien said.
“Let us hope that this decision can be suspended and overturned,” Mr Farage continued in his Newsweek piece, “and that we can get the special relationship back on track.”
Adding: “Perhaps the UK’s new ambassador to Washington, Karen Pierce, will help. Then again, maybe I am being too optimistic. She is a career Foreign Office type in the same mould as her predecessor, Kim Darroch. When will Downing Street learn?”
Mr Farage was alluding to the former ambassador Sir Kim Darroch who was revealed in July 2019 to have branded President Donald Trump “inept” and “incompetent”, threatening relations between the two historic allies. Then-Prime Minister Theresa May stood by her ambassador, saying she had “full faith” in Sir Kim.
Huawei Involvement in UK Network a Security Threat, Says Top Conservative https://t.co/fp6DlN9FGp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 11, 2020